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Deep-pitched valved brass instrument with a widely expanding conical bore. Tubas vary in size and pitch. The tubing is coiled in an oblong shape, and the bell points upward or forward. Patented in Berlin in 1835, the tuba displaced the ophicleide to become the foundation of the brass section in the orchestra and in military and brass bands. See alsoeuphonium, sousaphone.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tuba, visit Britannica.com.